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Updated 24 April 2013

Specialists leaving Joburg hospital

Seven specialists have resigned from the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital in the past three weeks over pay cuts, and many others are threatening to leave.

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Seven specialists have resigned from the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital in the past three weeks over pay cuts, and many others are threatening to leave, it's reported. The facility could be downgraded from its status as an academic hospital if there were insufficient specialists to train doctors, The Times reported.

The resignations could also lead to increased waiting times for patient consultations and surgical procedures.

According to the newspaper, the specialists were unhappy because overtime pay was being reduced, leaving junior specialists earning only five percent more than registrars, despite having five years more experience.

Gauteng health department spokesman Simon Zwane told The Times specialists could no longer supplement their income by working in the private sector.

Before this decision, there had been a gentlemen's agreement that government specialists would work 40 hours-plus overtime a week at state hospitals if they could supplement their income with private work, an unnamed doctor told the newspaper.

According to the report, two of the hospital's 26 anaesthetists had resigned and 11 more were expected to follow suit by the end of May.

'This will cripple hospital'

The DA slammed the resignations, saying that the hospital will be crippled if hospital management does not make changes to avert the mass resignations of specialists.

There would be "dire consequences" for the hospital if it lost the specialists' skills, said Democratic Alliance Gauteng health spokesman Jack Bloom.

"I urge the Gauteng health department to intervene to ensure that this hospital is not crippled by doctor resignations."

He said operations would have to be delayed if anaesthetists resigned.


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